Dean’s Update

Alan Grant, dean

Alan Grant, dean

In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, we are preparing the next generation of leaders who will help us feed an ever-growing global population. USA Today recently ranked agriculture and natural resources among the most lucrative degrees college students can earn. This issue of Innovations highlights some examples of how we are getting our students ready for rewarding and challenging careers.

In this edition, you’ll learn about programs such as the First Year Experience course and capstone projects that help undergraduates gain hands-on experiences. For example, you can read about a student working across Virginia to improve water quality, a team of students who networked with industry leaders at the Agriculture Future of America conference, and graduate researchers who have benefited from the college’s scholarship opportunities. Our students have the advantage of being educated by world-class faculty members who help guide their research and bring a wealth of experience to the classroom. CALS students conduct research with scientists who are among the very best in their fields. In fact, the National Science Foundation recently ranked Virginia Tech sixth among all U.S. universities for funding agricultural sciences research and development.

The careers we are preparing students for may very well take them around the world. A two-part series in Virginia Tech Magazine titled “Sowing the Future” examined the ways in which our students and researchers along with Virginia Cooperative Extension faculty members are working to meet the global demand for safe food and a clean environment in the years to come.

Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands has made inclusion and diversity one of his priorities in his first year, and we are excited to take part in this mission to make the university more reflective of the society we serve. Learn about some of the ways that we are accomplishing this in the college.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Innovations. Many thanks to the alumni and friends of the college for all you do for CALS and for helping us prepare for the future.


Alan Grant